Re: [asa] (fall) biological evolution and a literal Adam- logically inconsistent?

From: Merv <>
Date: Thu Sep 04 2008 - 19:48:08 EDT

David Opderbeck wrote:
> Merv said: That is the forced choice, is it not?
> I respond: I don't accept that. Binary thinking, in my view, usually
> betrays a lack of imagination. I think it's critical to Biblical
> theology that the Fall narrative refer to some sort of ontological
> reality, in whatever literary form it might be cast. Christ came into
> the world because something /really is/ wrong; "evil" is foreign to
> God's good creation; and the new heavens and new earth will constitue
> a new ontology that is equally real.
Not all binary thinking is deficient (though I note your word *usually*
with approval). Logic and the way we frame situations imposes such
necessary logic in many cases. E.g. my student turns in homework late
with all manner of valid or invalid excuses or extenuating
circumstances. But in the end, I either award him full credit or I do
not. Law of excluded middle.

Yet granted, in this situation perhaps binary thinking is inappropriate
--I would certainly agree that the binary mode of argument often used to
frame a religion verses science arena is impoverished in many ways. Yet
we will continue to choose a new "frame" or arena where we too will make
a binary choice --and rightly so. Would I be correct to infer from what
you say above that you don't use the label "ontological reality" on
anything that isn't a tack on a time line? To me this is another form
of binary thought: that either something is ontologically "real"
because it is an event that we could (in principle, with a time machine)
dial in the correct era and then watch it unfold like a play; or
failing that test, it is not. I think the E.C. side of what I framed
has a wide array of orthodox possibilities to be explored that would
acknowledge the reality of a fall no less real than someone biting a
piece of fruit.


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Received on Thu Sep 4 19:49:12 2008

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